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Are childminders allowed to smack their (own) DC?

(25 Posts)
insancerre Sun 17-Feb-13 13:32:06

This is from the EYFS-
"In a childminding setting, the childminder is responsible for behaviour management.
3.51 Providers must not give corporal punishment to a child. Providers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that corporal punishment is not given by any person who cares for or is in regular contact with a child, or by any person living or working in the premises where care is provided. Any early years provider who fails to meet these requirements commits an offence. A person will not be taken to have used corporal punishment (and therefore will not have committed an offence), where physical intervention24 was taken for the purposes of averting immediate danger of personal injury to any person (including the child) or to manage a child’s behaviour if absolutely necessary. Providers, including childminders, must keep a record of any occasion where physical intervention is used, and parents and/or carers must be informed on the same day, or as soon as reasonably practicable.

*3.52 Providers must not threaten corporal punishment, and must not use or threaten any punishment which could adversely affect a child's well-being.*"
Seems pretty clear to me

Titchyboomboom Sun 17-Feb-13 12:46:23

I would talk to her, and it would bother me if my daughter came home playing this out. What if someone worked in a nursery which their own child attended and smacked them? I suspect there would be uproar

ZuleikaD Tue 12-Feb-13 08:46:14

I would definitely do something about it - I think it's very clear that he's seen the behaviour at the CM's and it's affected him.

BertieBotts Tue 12-Feb-13 08:42:13

I don't think he's mistaken - he came up to me when I'd taken a toy off him or something, (I can't remember now) hit at me, and then said "And you'll get another one if you hurt me!" and I just thought, hmm, he hasn't picked that up as a game, that sounds like a threat. So I told him that we don't hit in our house and asked him where he'd heard it, who said that. At first he said nothing, nobody, and then a few minutes later he said "If X is naughty Y smacks her bottom"

I'm not worried he'll get smacked but I don't like the idea of him seeing it, and I don't want him to be worried IYSWIM.

ZuleikaD Tue 12-Feb-13 07:24:03

If it's affecting a minded child then it's definitely something you can raise with Ofsted. It's explicit in the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the EYFS that behaviour management cannot include corporal punishment, including the threat thereof - if your son is seeing other children be smacked then he would reasonably conclude that smacking might be in the offing for him too, even if the CM would never smack him. On my own inspection I got a hammering for giving one of my own a timeout for hitting (because my mindee asked where DD had gone - he was affected by the punishment) so God knows what an inspector would think of your situation.

I agree that it's difficult because you feel it's not for much longer and she's become a friend, but she is also a professional whose services you are paying for, and actually six months is quite a long time in a child's life. I would raise it with her - ask for a meeting with no children present and take notes.

calmlychaotic Tue 12-Feb-13 01:31:57

Is there any possibility its not actually a smack, how old is your dc could he be misunderstanding at all? One of my after school kids has picked up annoying habit of smacking peoples bottoms just messing about, could it be something like this, doesn't sound all that likely but just a thought.

doughnut44 Mon 11-Feb-13 23:47:22

HSMMaCM - no neither have I but I think BertieBotts may be worried that her child may get smacked? All I meant was that if a child was behaving so badly (not boisterous) that the CM felt she may snap, she could phone the parents to come and collect. she can't do that with her own so just snapped.

HSMMaCM Mon 11-Feb-13 23:04:00

doughnut44 - I've never called parents to collect a boisterous child (but maybe I've just been lucky).

doughnut44 Mon 11-Feb-13 22:53:25

Plus don't forget, if it was a minded child whose behaviour she couldn't deal with she would phone the parents to collect him.

doughnut44 Mon 11-Feb-13 22:51:19

Is it a regular occurance or has it happened just the once? My conversation would be as follows - 'can I have a word? DS has been a bit upset because he said he saw you smack your DS. He is a little bit worried that you may smack him, I am sure you wouldn't and I know it is out of character because I know you told me you didn't smack your own. ' See what her response is to that. It may be that she isn't coping and would possibly like someone to talk to.
I know my own kids act up around the minded kids - this is because they don't like me minding and they don't like having to entertain the mindees (they don't but the mindees always want to play with them and their toys and I end up having to send my own children upstairs out of the way which defeats the point in me minding to be at home with my own children)

HSMMaCM Mon 11-Feb-13 22:39:30

She's allowed to.smack her own DC, but it's not good practice to do it in front of mindees. This might not show in her policies, because they might just explain that she does not smack.mindees.

BertieBotts Mon 11-Feb-13 22:37:27

That's a good idea doughnut. I don't really know how to word it because it's a case of, well, what Jean said - if she's gone through everything else and feels this is a last resort, then what?

She did say when I first met her that she'd done a positive parenting course and really found it helpful. So perhaps mentioning it will give her a reminder? I don't know. I just feel really uncomfortable with the whole situation and really anxious about bringing it up!

doughnut44 Mon 11-Feb-13 22:22:53

I don't think its's a case of being allowed - i think it's more is it right! I personally wouldn't - I won't shout at my kids in front of the minded children. I am surprised that this has happened to be honest. I would mention it to the CM - explain that it has upset your son and if possible could she be careful not to do it again. You could say he is worried that she may smack him.

JeanBodel Mon 11-Feb-13 21:55:49

They might be allowed to smack their own kids.

But I can't imagine using a childminder who has so few strategies to manage a child's behaviour she resorts to smacking. At best it is ignorant, lazy parenting. Imo, of course.

mamadoc Mon 11-Feb-13 21:52:43

It is definitely your business to say something because it is affecting your ds. I use a cm and I would be most unhappy with this as I also view smacking as unacceptable whatever the legalities. Hopefully given your previous good relationship she will respect your views. It is a bit worrying that she hasn't consulted the health visitor or whoever to get some advice on better ways to deal with the situation.
I was a bit shocked that my cm said she had smacked her ds when he was younger but fortunately she then went on to say that she now regrets it and her training has taught her better ways to handle things otherwise it would have undermined my confidence in her a bit.

FlorenceMattell Mon 11-Feb-13 21:43:33

Yes parents are allowed to snack their own children if not excessive, doesn't leave a mark. Excuse me because not the exact wording of children's act.
But my personal opinion is that it is not good for a childminder to do this to her child in front of children she minds, and Ofsted would take a dim view.
Personally I don't agree with smacking false stop. Gives a child rather wrong message IMO . Much better to use other methods of discipline.
It is usually done in anger.
But this is my opinion only.

MrAnchovy Mon 11-Feb-13 18:56:41

The law against corporal punishment only applies to children that are minded not the childminders own children. I can't imagine Ofsted taking a very favourable view of this in an inspection though (either routine or following a complaint).

LingDiLong Mon 11-Feb-13 18:45:55

Ask for copies of her policies to begin with, explain you've lost them and would like them for your records.

LingDiLong Mon 11-Feb-13 18:45:25

I actually think that the way a service provider responds to a complaint is often a really good indicator of how good they are at their job.

If she is defensive or unpleasant then this tells you all you need to know...

BertieBotts Mon 11-Feb-13 18:45:03

I don't think I've ever had any policies from her - although I may have done and then lost them as it was over 2 years ago that DS started there now.

LingDiLong Mon 11-Feb-13 18:43:08

What is her behaviour management policy? You should have a copy of this.

Please don't be intimidated - she is a mum like you, having more children or being older doesn't indicate some higher level of expertise. And whilst I don't want to put down my own profession, the qualifications you need to be a childminder are pretty easy to get. Could you email her or write her a letter? I actually have in my complaints policy that I welcome emails/letters from parents if they're unhappy about anything and feel awkward discussing it face to face.

BertieBotts Mon 11-Feb-13 18:37:16

I did think about talking to her. However although I say she's a friend I still feel a bit intimidated talking to her about parenting issues, because she's got 2 DC to my one, her oldest is older than mine, she's much older than me (I was a young mum) and she's actually qualified to look after children whereas I'm just bumbling along on my own!

I feel a bit cheated as well because when I first initially met her she seemed to share my views on discipline and although she has a (naughty) "step" which I don't use either, she seemed to use it rarely and it didn't bother me as much.

insancerre Mon 11-Feb-13 18:33:52

No, pretty sure they are not.

LingDiLong Mon 11-Feb-13 18:31:32

The way I always (try) and think of it is; my children are counted in my ratios. Therefore they are minded children just like the others and should be treated the same. I have no idea whether this is the official Ofsted/CSSIW line though - I should imagine it is. If someone witnessed her doing this and reported it to Ofsted I can't imagine them saying it was fine just because the minded child was her own.

As to how you handle this, I think you should speak to her if you feel you can. The fact that other children are noticing and being influenced by it might be the wake up call she needs. As she's a friend and it would be a massive hassle to move him, you have nothing to lose by giving her the chance to put this right.

BertieBotts Mon 11-Feb-13 18:23:50

Because DS has inadvertantly told me that his CM smacks her DC when he is there, just one of them. I think this is a recent development... she's been struggling with this DC for some time. It just makes me feel massively uncomfortable. He keeps acting it out at home too and trying to smack me hmm when I do something he doesn't like, even though he's quite aware that hitting isn't acceptable, it's like he's seeing it in a different category. I don't really want him thinking this is fine. Also, although I'm sure she would never hit him, does he know that? And if he does then how on earth does the CM keep order with one rule for one child and one rule for the rest? confused Overall, I choose not to smack and part of the reason for that is that I don't want DS growing up in a house where smacking is normal so it's really putting me off.

It's really wrong-footed me and worse, I don't know what to do - we're emigrating in 6 months so it seems like a lot of hassle to move him for that short time, and I'm currently doing a course which is taking up all of my time as well as working - I don't have time, energy or money to spare for looking for another, especially one which is flexible enough for my needs sad And aside from all of this too, she has become a friend and I would feel hugely disloyal to move DS somewhere else. But I don't know what my other options are.

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